En Espa—ol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Monday - August 25, 2008

From: Leander, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Leguminous deer-resistant groundcover
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Please help me identify a deer-resistant leguminous ground cover native to Central Texas to serve as a guard plant in edible-plant groupings.

ANSWER:

You will find a list of Deer Resistant native plants, many of which are native to Central Texas, on our Recommended Species page. The following leguminous (Family Fabaceae) plants grow in Travis and Williamson Counties and could qualify as groundcovers when they are present. Most of them, however, do not persist after they have bloomed and set seed. If you want a persistent deer-resistant member of the Family Fabaceae to surround your edible plants, perhaps you could ring it with small Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel) plants.

Dalea aurea (golden prairie clover)

Dalea frutescens (black prairie clover)

Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet)

Senna lindheimeriana (velvet leaf senna)

Senna roemeriana (twoleaf senna)

There are many other non-leguminous choices. For example, deer rarely eat members of the Family Lamiaceae (mint family) and there are several attractive grasses as well that deer do not browse. Here are a few suggestions:

Salvia coccinea (blood sage)

Salvia farinacea (mealycup sage)

Scutellaria wrightii (Wright's skullcap)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Golden dalea
Dalea aurea

Black dalea
Dalea frutescens

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Lindheimer's senna
Senna lindheimeriana

Twoleaf senna
Senna roemeriana

Scarlet sage
Salvia coccinea

Mealy blue sage
Salvia farinacea

Wright's skullcap
Scutellaria wrightii

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

Canada wild rye
Elymus canadensis

Little bluestem
Schizachyrium scoparium

More Deer Resistant Questions

Need a smallish evergreen shrub that deer do not like, native to Colorado.
August 12, 2010 - I live south of Denver Colorado. I am looking for an evergreen shrub that doesn't grow wider than 3 feet and not taller than 4 to 5 feet - something that is native to Colorado or grows well here. (...
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant native plants for Michigan
June 06, 2008 - I am looking for a deer-resistant ground cover for a mid-to-northern Michigan (lower peninsula), which can grow in completely sandy soil. Thanks for any advice.
view the full question and answer

Deer resistance of maple leaf viburnum in Austin
November 20, 2009 - Looking on the Texas Plant Information Database for Maple Leaf Viburnum, I donít find any information about deer (whitetail or axis, southern edge of Edwards Plateau) resistance. Other sites give mixe...
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistant and Drought Tolerant Pink-Flowering Shrub for Austin, TX
April 15, 2013 - Is there a pink-flowering bush that is deer resistant and drought tolerant that would do well in Austin, TX? If not pink flowering, any color of a flowering bush is fine.
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant groundcover for Tampa, Florida
June 06, 2009 - I live in Tampa, FL and have a deer problem. I was wondering if you would give me some suggestions for deer resistant ground covers that are hearty and flower but most of all "DEER RESISTANT"!!! ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center